Cole Chaney

ASHLAND Local singer-songwriter Cole Chaney has released his album, titled “Mercy,” on streamings services.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the process of getting the album finished.

“We began recording it in August of last year, and due to COVID, we had to do a lot of sending tracks around,” he said. “It took a lot longer than anticipated, but the final product is one that I’m very proud of.”

Proud, in part, because he wrote all th songs except one, “Humble Enough to Hear,” which he cowrote with friend and mentor Arthur Hancock.

He said he can’t pick a favorite song, as they are all meaningful to him, but he said “Coalshooter” is the one that’s most sentimental to him. It’s about his grandfather whom he calls Papaw Chuck.

“When he was just 17, lying about his age to help his father make enough money to keep them above water in Johnson County — this would’ve been around 1960 or ’61 — his job was to shoot the coal, which meant lighting the dynamite fuses that protruded from holes drilled inside the mine, one by one, on his way out and try not to get blown to hell,” Chaney explained. “It just made me think about how much tougher that generation was than we are now. You’d never see a kid my age doing something like that because we really can’t even imagine what that was like, so I just tried to create the imagery with a song.”

Chaney, 20, claims a range of artists as influences, from locals like Tyler Childers and Chris Stapleton to Alice In Chains to Jason Isbell. His interest in music began when his father bought him a toy guitar when he was a child.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Chaney had started performing in Lexington and he said he hopes some day to perform in Rupp Arena.

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